There is no doubt that love for some celebrity exists within us all. This isn’t the traditional definition of love but rather defined by an excessive admiration for a famous person whom we will probably never meet. The use of “love” is appropriate here as we who love celebrity tend to exhibit signs of undue influence by those highly visible. Famous people, the non-elected representatives of the human race, have always held some influence over the masses. In the days before mass media, television sets and computers fame was circulated orally, carried by the gossipy nature of social beings. Today, we open our eyes and cannot avoid these people.
Of course, in a developed society entertainers are necessary. We laugh and sometimes cry at a quality performance. Our memories are seared with images, movies and songs which have touched us, frightened us and stimulated us. They dramatize the political, the romantic, the good and bad. We see in them the potential for perfection of man or woman as an expression of utopian ideals of love and success.
Yet, have we gone too far? How much influence should they have over us? Our choice of clothes, jewelry and hairstyle, our languages and ideas are often areas that we look toward celebrities to define. If you deny this then you are exceptional; the rest of us are invariably, more susceptible. Our culture has become saturated with celebrity influence. We watch their every move including who they are with and what they do. We absorb their politics and gobble up their quotes. We think about what it may be like to be that beautiful, rich and powerful. Fame is an aphrodisiac or so it seems to the unrecognized. Today we have TomKat(Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes). Yesterday it was Bennifer(Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez). Public Interest in these people is frighteningly obsessive in nature.
After all, their claim to fame is usually based on pretense or non reality. They are the constant pretenders, illusionists with screens as their canvas. The entertainment value of a celebrity stretches beyond the screen or stage and they are wholly aware it. We are witness to carefully arranged relationships, sudden sightings in sports arenas and controversial quotes days before a new movie or show opens. They appear on your screen suddenly seemingly not to promote themselves but rather attempting to come across as natural, likable, smart and funny. Sometimes we get a glimpse into what certain celebrities are really like. Unfortunately, it is usually when they do something wrong. Drugs, infidelity and physical assaults are a few areas where celebrities have slipped in their public presentation. Mug shots and unflattering photos of famous people are the currency of entertainment news outlets. Being a celebrity has its drawback in this regard as they are monitored as closely as governmental heads of the biggest nations on earth.
Alas, the power of celebrity is here with us to stay. Or is it? Can we teach our children who the chancellor of Germany is before we explain the history of Madonna? If we can’t, America will become a nation of uninformed celebrity worshippers numb to the more important realities of the world.
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